There are plenty of downsides to being a royal and having all of your family drama  constantly on display. The public is bound to gossip, and sometimes even create wild conspiracy theories about the rumors they hear. From an alleged feud between Kate Middleton and Beyoncé to Meghan Markle possibly being a robot, people come up with the craziest things! Even if being a member of the royal family comes with some negatives, the positives typically outweigh them. You get to travel and are often showered in surprising gifts from around the world. But sometimes these gifts are a bit unexpected, or even extravagant. From gnomes to possum-skin cloaks and wild animals, the royals have received some surprising gifts that are bound to raise an eyebrow or two. But many of these gifts have important cultural origins, which makes receiving them an absolute honor.

Interestingly, royals are allowed to use the gifts they receive, but the gifts don’t technically belong to them. Every item that a member of the royal family receives while conducting official duties actually belongs to the Crown. They are at least allowed to consume the perishables! Regardless of their ownership status, the royals seem to be very appreciative of every gift they receive, no matter how surprising.

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1. Meghan Markle Received A Bundle Of Carrots From A Woman Dressed As A Carrot

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During a visit to Australia, a citizen at Bondi Beach gave the duchess organic carrots.

It ended up being a publicity stunt. Markle — known for breaking the royal rules — responded, “Thank you so much!” and turned to Harry to tell him, “We got some veggies!” The woman was dressed as a carrot, and her friend was dressed as a pea. They were likely promoting their baby food company, Nourishing Bubs.

2. A Finnish Citizen Gifted Prince William Two Fabric Gnomes

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In Finland, these gnomes have a special meaning.

In 2017, someone from Finland gifted Prince William two crafted fabric gnomes. In Finnish culture, these gnomes—known as nisse—are responsible for protecting the farm and homestead. If those gnomes reside within the royal household or garden, as some gifts do, they may just be helping to safeguard Buckingham Palace.

3. A Member Of The Public Gave Kate And William Two Polished Stones

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Say it ain’t stone!

During a 2014 visit to Colombia and Mexico, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall received a gift of two polished stones. We’re sure the giver had the very best of intentions, and hopefully Kate and William were appreciative of the gesture. They also received a whole collection of books, so it appears they have some reading to do.

4. The Governor Of Al Ula Gave Prince William 32 Packets Of Dates, 2 Buckets Of Dates, And A Pot Of Churned Butter

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Dates for days!

When Prince William visited Saudi Arabia in 2015, the Governor of Al Ula gave him a considerable number of dates and a pot of butter. While gifts don’t technically belong to individuals of the royal family, they can consume perishables, which means William may have feasted on more than a few dates during his trip.

5. Australia Gave Queen Elizabeth And The Duke Of Edinburgh 500 Cases Of Pineapple

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Hopefully someone in the royal family loves pineapple.

When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wed in 1947, the government of Australia sent the happy couple 500 cases of tinned pineapple. Although the gift seems a little odd today, in the post-World War II United Kingdom, where citizens were experiencing substantial food shortages, the pineapples were considered to be a particularly thoughtful gesture.

6. A Member Of The Australian Public Gave Harry and Meghan Two Stuffed Kookaburras

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Archie undoubtedly has a hearty collection of stuffed animals.

Before the arrival of their first-born, Harry and Meghan received children’s toys from around the world. This included two stuffed kookaburras from Australia, along with multiple stuffed kangaroos, wombats, koalas, and emus. From New Zealand, members of the public gifted the pair stuffed kiwis and sheep.

7. Officials From Cameroon Gave Queen Elizabeth An Entire Elephant

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Talk about a big gift.

President Ahidjo of Cameroon gifted Queen Elizabeth with a live elephant back in 1972. The elephant, whose name was Jumbo, didn’t get to stay at the palace, but instead went to live at the London Zoo and, eventually, to a rural zoo in Whipsnade, England. On the flight to England, zookeepers fed the animal bananas, avocados, and sugar.

8. Irish Horse Breeder Cristina Patino Gave Queen Elizabeth Horse Semen

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Um…thank you?

In May of 2011, Cristina Patino, who breeds stallions, gave Queen Elizabeth stallion semen for one of her female horses. The stallion, Big Bad Bob (yes, that’s his name), is one of Patino’s top breeding horses —his semen typically sells for £5,200, or $6,500 in US dollars. Although the gesture seems odd, the queen is one of Britain’s preeminent racehorse owners.

9. Prince George Received A Possum Skin Cloak

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Just what every little boy wants!

In 2015, Prince George — who, as a child of the Crown, must follow some pretty strict royal traditions — has received more gifts than any other royal. One of the more unique gifts that he received was a possum-skin cloak from the Gundungurra Tribal Council Aboriginal Corporation. We wonder what his parents had to say.

10. Australian Students Gave Queen Elizabeth A Fake Hand

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Maybe they were just hoping to be able to lend her a hand?

A group of Australian students gave Queen Elizabeth a stuffed glove mounted on a wooden lever. Moving the lever made the hand wave back and forth, and the students explained that it was intended to help her if she ever gets tired of waving. In her book about Queen Elizabeth, Princess Anne recalls that Queen Elizabeth thought the gift was very funny, and the hand has since become a bit of a joke among the royal family.

11. Prince Charles Received A Packet Of Fairy Dust From New Zealand

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Faith, trust, and a little…

In January 2016, some New Zealand locals decided to give Prince Charles a number of different gifts for his grandchildren, including some booties and wool clothing. One of the more compelling gifts, however, was a packet that allegedly contained fairy dust. We wonder how they got their hands on such a rarety!

12. Poland Gifted Prince William A Massive Sword

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It apparently has some historical significance.

Andrezej Duda, the president of Poland, and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, gave the Duke of Cambridge a sword that had once been used to fight the Germans and Russians during the First World War. Upon receiving the gift, William said, “I’ll make sure George doesn’t get his hands on that.”

13. During A Visit To The Caribbean, Prince Harry Received Two Birds And A Model Canoe

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All these surprising gifts the royals get probably keep the London Zoo interesting.

While visiting Guyana on the North Atlantic coast of South America, a Guyanese citizen took the opportunity to gift Prince Harry two macaws and a model of a clay canoe. Here’s hoping that Harry happens to have an affinity for our avian brethren, or at the very least a little-known love for water sports.

14. The Duchess of Cornwall Received A Giant Cabbage

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A very…healthy gift.

When Camilla and Charles visited Organic Allotment in St. James Park, an initiative that was intended to raise awareness about organic farming, the program gifted her with a particularly massive cabbage. Yum? So if you’re struggling to meet your daily recommended vegetable intake, maybe you should consider becoming a royal.

15. Pakistan Gifted Prince Andrew And Princess Anne With A Box Of Mangoes

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Free mangoes? Yes, please.

The President of Pakistan once gave Prince Andrew a box full of mangoes when the pair met one another at the royal palace back in 2012. The Duke of York, who is known for his involvement in a large number of news-worthy scandals, seemed to appreciate the collection of deliciously surprising gifts.


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